Is kidney donation safe? | Can donors live a normal life?

Mr. Jha is one of my patients from Agartala who is getting prepared for a kidney transplant. His wife was willing to donate kidney. She had no other comorbidities and was healthy, but Mr. Jha was really worried with her decision to donate one kidney. He asked me a simple question: Will she be able to live a normal life?

I was amazed at the way he has thought it out. If only our organs could have reached out to us just like our emotions, things would have been different. But with end-stage kidney disease, transplants become one of the most valued options. After all who would not want to have a life similar to his habit?

Living with one kidney for a donor is quite the same

So whenever the question crosses your mind- Can I live with one kidney? Remember that although people live with two Kidneys, but God has created human being in such a manner that even with a single kidney a person can live a normal life. Giving a kidney to someone who needs a transplant is a very generous thing to do. Living with one kidney for a donor is quite the same, life will be normal after donation and the person can resume all normal activities after 3 months.

Are there any long term problems associated with kidney donation?

Kidneys play a role in maintaining fluid balance in your body, removing toxins from the body, and controlling your blood pressure. Most people with a single kidney live a normal life without developing any long- or short-term problems. However, having one kidney as opposed to both increases your risk of mild elevated blood pressure, fluid retention, and proteinuria.

What are the Precautions one must take if they have one kidney:

An individual with one kidney must check his blood pressure level and blood sugar regularly and get consulted by a doctor frequently.

The individual must be alert about monitoring his/her GFR (glomerular filtration rate) to maintain the proper functioning of a single kidney.

Proper maintenance of diet is necessary.

Studies show that a single kidney performs 40% more than when it is part of a pair. Due to its increased work, a single kidney often enlarges but performs well. This is the utmost reason one should protect it from any injury that might cost later.

Try to avoid any medication on your own. Always on prescribed medicines. Never take NSAID group of painkillers.

Never linger any infection for a long time.

Drink water as per the thirst and eat less salt (< 5gm)

Do Yoga and exercise daily.

Every quarter check Urea, creatinine, hemogram, Fasting and post prandial sugar, blood pressure, Urine RE, ACR.

Avoid smoking and drinking.

There can nothing be more valuable than adding years to someone’s life.

For personal diet consultation, contact- + 91 6292 252 940

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Kidney donation in India has been going on for years. The fact that nearly 2 Lakh India patients are waiting for organ donation with only 15,000 donors available, makes organ donation a necessity for many families.

Most people with a single kidney live almost equally as those with two Kidneys. As long as such individuals maintain a proper diet, do yoga and exercise regularly, and keep a check on their blood pressure along with frequent checks, they can certainly leave a normal and healthy life even with one kidney. Donating a kidney is more than donating just an organs, it is donating valuable years to a person who is at the end stage of kidney failure. There is nothing wrong with donating a kidney when one kidney can compensate for two, rather it would mean the world to the recipient and his or her family.

How do you feel about organ donation? What according to you would a donor want to know as a priority?